Martin Lewis' tips for saving money on Christmas shopping

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Posting Christmas items early gives you the best chance of them reaching your loved ones in plenty of time. If you’re sending gifts to those in the British Forces, you’ll need to know the special, earlier, deadlines for posting Christmas cards and gifts.

Royal Mail has warned customers to get their Christmas post sorted out as early as possible, to ensure it reaches your friends and family in time.

Especially if you’re sending cards or gifts out to those serving in the British Forces, you’ll want to make sure your Christmas cheer reaches your loved one.

Christmas is the busiest time of year for Royal Mail, and this year the organisation are recruiting 20,000 workers to help ensure everyone’s Christmas cards and parcels are delivered.

Even with all the extra pairs of hands, you can help Royal Mail out by posting items well in advance.

Royal Mail says: “Allow plenty of time for posting.

“Please post items and gifts for Christmas early, particularly for International deliveries.

“Ongoing Covid restrictions, reduced air and freight capacity, high volumes and winter weather conditions are all impacting transportation and local delivery across the globe.”

Last days to post your letters or parcels for Christmas 2021

  • Friday, December 17 – Royal Mail Bulk Mail Economy
  • Saturday, December 18 – Second Class, Second Class Signed For and Royal Mail 48
  • Tuesday, December 21 – First Class, First Class Signed For, Royal Mail 24, Royal Mail Tracked 48
  • Wednesday, December 22 – Royal Mail Tracked 24
  • Thursday, December 23 – Special Delivery Guaranteed

What are the Christmas delivery deadlines for posting to Operational British Forces?

According to Royal Mail, the deadlines for posting International HM Forces Mail are:

Monday, November 29 – Airmail to Operational Forces.

Monday, December 6 – Airmail to Static Forces.

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The Ministry of Defence (MoD) adds some guidance for sending Christmas post to people in the British Forces.

The MoD says: “We understand the importance of sending loved ones their all-important gifts for the festive period, and would like to remind all BFPO customers of the importance of ensuring your mail parcel does not contain any dangerous air cargo items such as aerosols, liquids, perfumes, aftershaves and nail varnish.”

The top tips from the MoD are:

  • Post early: Avoid the Christmas rush by posting early
  • Customs form: All mail parcels for BFPO must have a customs declaration form completed and attached
  • Prohibited items: Check your item is safe before sending
  • Returns address: All parcels must have a clear returns address label
  • Package carefully: Prevent leaks and breakages by packing carefully
  • Don’t know, don’t send: Please do not send mail to service personnel you do not know

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