Bubble wrap. An environmental no-no, but unfortunately essential if you want to post paintings long distances without worrying about damage.
Until I started sending paintings, I had no idea that there were different types of bubble wrap. I thought there was only the thin bubble wrap which wasn't very sturdy, and you would have to wrap a lot of it round to get any protection.
However, when said tiny bubble wrap left an unsightly imprint on one of my varnished paintings during transport, I decided to ask around and see what other artists were using. And lo and behold, the magic of double-walled bubble wrap appeared.
This stuff has much bigger bubbles, and they're trapped either side by a layer of plastic. This means they're less likely to leave an unsightly bubble imprint on your artwork (tip: leave it longer between the final varnish and the post date so it cures properly) and they are much stronger, so can be used again and again without deteriorating.
I've photographed it here to show the "double wall".
The downside is that it comes in a MASSIVE roll which almost needs its own postcode. And it's very tempting for the kids to use it as a punching bag or a zorbing possibility.
To say this stuff has revolutionised my transportation dilemma is an understatement. And since I found an art courier (Logiart) that couriers art around the country without needing to be boxed up, my frantic days wielding the box cutter are also over! Yay for the small wins.