When sending gifts this Christmas, there's more to posting a parcel than simply popping it in a box and sending it on its way. Packaging it correctly is essential. No one wants to open up a present only to find it's been damaged, and although accidents can happen, many of them can usually be avoided. To help you ensure your gifts get there safely this year, we've picked out 5 essential packaging tips for preventing parcel damage.1. Package your items in a brand-new, double walled boxUsing a brand-new box is key to ensuring the safety of your items. Opting for previously-used boxes won't offer as much protection as new packaging, and the more fragile your parcel, the bigger the impact this will have. In fact, new double walled boxes are the preferred packaging option. Double walled cardboard boxes contain two sheets of corrugated cardboard which are firmly glued together, providing extra protection for the items inside.2. Use plenty of internal packagingNo matter what size your parcel is, it's always a good idea to pad it out with plenty of internal packaging, such as bubble wrap or foam. Since every additional layer of packaging adds an extra layer of protection for your items, we'd recommend a minimum of 5cm, or 10 sheets, of internal packaging for each parcel. Also, if your items are a lot smaller than the box you're transporting them in, ensure the box is also filled with foam or bubble wrap to avoid internal damage.3. Check the maximum weight of your boxBefore you buy a box to transport your delivery items, make sure you double check its maximum weight and weigh your items before you buy. If you opt for packaging that can't handle your load, it's likely your items will end up getting damaged during delivery. It's also a good idea to measure and weigh your packaged parcel before delivery. This ensures you don't face any additional charges if your parcel is bigger or heavier than you first stated.4. Don't package your items in fabric or cloth bagsAlthough they may look nicer than your standard box, packing your items in cloth or fabric bags provides minimal protection for your items inside. If you're receiving a parcel delivery, most of us are far more concerned about items inside the parcel, not how it looks when it arrives. Opt for a strong, sturdy material that will keep your parcels in one piece throughout delivery.5. Use strong parcel tape to seal your boxUsing household sticky tape or string to seal your parcel simply isn't strong enough to withstand transportation. When sealing your parcels, ensure you're using strong parcel tape to fasten them. Once you're sure the box is secure, tape around all the edges of your box as well, as this will strengthen the corners and make sure your parcel doesn't fall open in transit.All of these tips are especially true at Christmas when the volume of parcels being processed is at it's highest. Remember, simply adding a 'fragile' or 'handle with care' label isn't a substitute for careful packaging. Parcels are often handled by machines who can't read the additional labels. Do you have any top packaging tips? Share them with us via Facebook or Twitter!