There’s less than two weeks to go until Christmas, and our postman is looking extremely tired. I am too, I hasten to add! The thought of queuing in the post office is pretty soul destroying at this time of year, so I am avoiding it at all costs! With that in mind, I thought I’d share some alternative postage options at Christmas. Of course, popping Christmas cards into the postbox is the right way to go, but when it comes to parcels, there are other options available, and some are cheaper than Royal Mail anyway.
Alternative postage options at Christmas
I have friends and family scattered all over the UK, and that inevitably means I have lots of parcels to send at this time of the year, and tend to use courier services like Parcels2go for those.
Once you type in the collection and delivery postcodes, the Parcels2go website will show you your delivery options. This includes options for express delivery, as well as cheaper options which will inevitably take longer to arrive. The courier will collect the parcel from you and deliver it to its destination – brilliant! I used them this year to ship an item up to my Brother who lives on the Scottish isles. It cost me £3.55 for 2 day delivery, including £20 insurance! Royal Mail wanted £3.95 for the same item, and I’d have to take it in to the post office. Couriers are definitely one of my favourite alternative postage options at Christmas!
Amazon offer a gift wrapping service, which is a total lifesaver! It costs £3 per item, but if you’re an Amazon Prime member, you get free next day delivery on most orders anyway. This means the £3 gift wrapping charge is much cheaper than forward shipping would be. I ordered my niece and nephew’s Christmas gifts last week, and opted for this service. It means I don’t need to worry about the extra time onward shipping will take, as well. Win – win, in my book! I also get the delivery notifications, so I will know when it’s arrived.
Last Royal Mail UK Shipping Dates
If you’ve not posted your Christmas cards yet, or really want to use Royal Mail for your parcels, their last shipping dates for UK items are:
Tuesday 18th December for 2nd class items. (Included 2nd class recorded).
Thursday 20th December for 1st class items. (Included 1st class recorded).
Friday 21st December for Royal Mail Tracked 24.
Saturday 22nd Dec for Royal Mail Special Delivery.
Remember to double check courier prices though, as these aren’t cheap services!
Last Royal Mail International Shipping Dates
Unfortunately, it’s too late now to use Royal Mail for International post to most places. You can see the list of international dates below.
If you have missed the cut off, there’s still hope! Couriers offer Express, Economy and Super Economy options on international shipping. These vary in anything from 1-10 working days delivery turnaround time. The closer it gets to Christmas, the more you’ll have to pay for guaranteed Christmas Delivery.
It might be cheaper to order from Amazon and ship direct. This will probably cost you over £10 per item, but it’s still cheaper than courier or Royal Mail costs in a lot of cases.
I’m feeling pretty smug I sent my international items on 1st December this year, so it didn’t cost me an arm and a leg!
I hope these alternative postage options at Christmas tips have been useful. Why not check out my other Christmas content?