The last posting dates for delivery in time for Christmas are approaching for sending cards and parcels to friends and family abroad.
The last posting date for airmail as issued by the Royal Mail from UK to Spain is Monday 13th December, there is nothing confirming the date for a delivery in the opposite direction from the Spanish postal service Correos but I would suggest it is safe to assume the same.
The Spanish postal company Correos have launched a facility to produce your own personalised Christmas cards online through their virtual post office. You can select a card or make your own design, add your text and send to any destination in the world, without having to print, place in an envelope and post. The cards are then printed in high quality A4 fold and dispatched, you can pay with credit card or Paypal, it costs €3 per card to send internationally or €2 within Spain.
There are normally special post boxes organised by Correos for children to send their letters to the Los Reyes Magos, look for them between the 15th and 30th of December.
If you are planning to send post and parcels to the UK for the first time, here are some tips to help you:
The UK is called Reino Unido in Spanish.
The postal zone including the UK is Zona A.
Here is a link to the International Tariffs use the ** Canarias table to calculate your postage.
There is a small parcel international rate (paquete Internacional Económico) which is up to 20kg for Zona A, the fixed price is €20.40 or by weight €2.35 per kg so it’s cheaper to send one big parcel rather than several small ones if you have a family member who can distribute them for you.
You need to declare what items are included in the parcel and the value of the goods.
Make sure you write the sender’s address on the parcel.
Have you read the Customs Information from Royal Mail, if they have any doubt about the contents of your parcel it will be returned.
Some useful Spanish phrases for the post office in Spain:
quiero mandar este paquete – I want to send this parcel
por avión – by airmail
correo urgente – priority mail
quiero mandar esto certificado – I want to send this registered
sellos – stamps
An alternative to the above is to send e-cards and internet shop for delivery in the UK! Unfortunately we have lost a few parcels in either direction over the years, my advice is send them in good time, with the right postage and paperwork, don’t include alcohol / tobacco or perfume and send them by standard airmail.