The countdown to Christmas Day is on, and so is the race to ensure that your cards and parcels get to your loved ones before Father Christmas arrives.
Whether you’re posting a present to Anglesey, Austria or even Australia, we’ve listed the final Royal Mail posting dates below.
We’ve also rounded up the last delivery dates for popular online shops, to help you avoid last-minute delivery disappointment.
Find out which brands score five stars for their online deliveries in our guide to the best and worst shops and websites.
Last recommended Christmas posting dates for the UK
In the table below are the last posting dates released by the Royal Mail. Other courier and delivery companies’ last posting dates vary, so it’s best to check them out individually, depending on what you are posting and the level of service you want to pay for.
|Tuesday 18 December||
|Thursday 20 December||
|Friday 21 December||
|Saturday 22 December||
Standing in line at the post office in the lead-up to Christmas can be particularly time-consuming, so Royal Mail has issued a few tips to ensure the process goes as smoothly as it can and that your precious parcels arrive safely:
- Properly wrap your parcel before going to the post office
- Clearly label your parcels or cards, and always include a postcode and a return address
- Check the size and weight of your item before you post, so you know how much you can expect to pay and bring the correct postage with you.
Last international posting dates for Christmas 2018
All of the international economy posting dates have already passed, but don’t despair – the last posting dates for standard, tracking and signature services are yet to come.
|Region or country||Royal Mail – international standard & tracking/signature services|
|Africa, Middle East||4 December|
|Cyprus, Malta, Asia, Far East, Eastern Europe (except Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia)||7 December|
|Caribbean, Central and South America||8 December|
|Greece, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand||10 December|
|Canada, Czech Republic, Italy, Poland and USA||14 December|
|Finland, Sweden||15 December|
|Austria, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland||17 December|
|Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg||18 December|
Delivery companies, such as Parcel Force, may offer later dates than these, so it’s worth looking for an alternative company if you’ve left it a little late.
Christmas online shopping
With a lot of us opting to order our gifts online, it pays to know the last dates that you can order from some of the big retailers.
Not only do the dates vary, but the cost of each type of shipping will, too. Mark the final standard delivery date for your favourite online shop in your diary – this will be cheaper than using next day or priority delivery, and may even be free if you spend over a certain amount.
Before you shop, check out our guide to the best and worst online shops, to make sure you get a good experience shopping online this Christmas.
|Online shop||Christmas ordering dates|
|Currys PC World||
|Marks & Spencer||
Dates for clothing, home and beauty products.
Whether you plan to shop in-store or online, check out our guide to your shopping rights at Christmas.