ARE you sending a card, letter or parcel to someone abroad this Christmas?

Royal Mail has announced its recommended international posting dates for residents wanting to send mail overseas in time for the festive season.

Customers wanting to send mail to Africa and the Middle East will need to post it by Saturday, December 2.

People wishing to send festive greetings to friends and family in Australia or New Zealand will need to send their post by Saturday, December 9.

For those wanting to send cards and gifts to friends and loved ones in the United States and Canada, the last recommended posting date is Thursday, December 14.

Letters and parcels heading to Denmark, Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland can be posted up to Friday, December 15.

For the Republic of Ireland and France, mail should be sent by Saturday, December 16.

The last posting dates apply to both standard international services and those which have tracking and signature.

For people sending cards and letters within the UK, you'll need to have second class mail in the post by Tuesday, December 19.

First class post should be sent by Wednesday, December 20.

Mail being sent using the Royal Mail special delivery service should be sent by Thursday, December 21.