6 Game-Changing Finds I Always Steal When I Visit My Parents

published Dec 9, 2022
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There’s something about going home that encourages our inner child to come out, some more than others. Parents do generally own things that children (especially me) covet, and sometimes those things end up vanishing from their home at the exact time I’m headed back to New York. Consider this my official mea culpa: I dedicate it to my parents, first and foremost, for introducing me to these awesome little essentials and for graciously accepting their disappearance whenever I come to town. Secondly, I dedicate it to Santa in an attempt to make amends for my misbehavior this holiday season (and hopefully end up with some of these things in my stocking). Disclaimer aside, these are just six of the things I somehow end up going home with when I leave my parents’ house each visit, each of which have become mainstays in my life at home or on the go.

1 / 6
was $19.00

These pens are le best. They randomly appaeared in a drawer in my mom's desk one year and they've been steadily disappearing (thanks to me) and replaced over time (thanks to Mom). They're satisfying to write with, quick drying, transfer-resistant, come in every color imaginaable, are highly pigmented, and I can't get enough. And to be fair, I've purchased my own and paid it forward over the years by gifting them and allowing "thieving" friends of my own to raid my stash.

2 / 6
was $79.99

Somehow, every time I leave my parents house, without fail there will be Crest Whitestrips in my toiletry kit, purse, or scattered in my suitcase. While saved for special occasions these days, these are the OG "stolen from my parents" product for me. They're the best on the market and work beautifully for even my sensitive teeth (when used correctly!). As it turns out, they're one of the most popular products on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deal days, so I must not be the only one obsessed!

3 / 6
was $13.99

We're animal people, my parents and I, so not only do I have a cat of my own, but they've got two as well... and two dogs... and they all travel with us. So, top-rated Amazon pet accessories are a dime a dozen in our households and often get moved from one home to the other (and back again) unintentionally. This particular cat brush is my cat's favorite because it reaches deep to collect all the trapped fur he's already shed, but it's also mine because of how easy it is to clean out and have ready to go for our next grooming session.

4 / 6
was $37.24

There's something about fogging up or dampening my glasses myself to clean them that I'm just...not into. When I saw my parents had these little wet wipes from ZEISS specifically made for cleaning the lenses of your eyeglasses, I tested one and was so impressed that I've ended up taking a handful home on a number of occasions. As a novice wearer of eyewear, I smudge my glasses every couple of minutes and have to take a microfiber cloth to them more often than I probably even wear them. When I use these wipes every day or so, I find they not only clear my lenses completely, they also prime them for even more effective swiping of smudges with a dry cloth.

5 / 6
was $14.99

As we all find ourselves slowly adapting to changes in tech accessories, these actual adaptors — specifically from USB to USB C — are everywhere in my parents' home. They're useful for everything from charging my phone with a new cord (USB C) and an old port (USB) to connecting my older laptop (USB) to a new memory device (USB C). I have since stocked up on a few of my own in case my guests have the same issues.

6 / 6
was $34.95

Not all the insulated water bottles my fitness aficionado parents have are Hydroflask brand, but the ones I take home with me certainly are. That's not to discount the totally awesome dupes that exist out there, but as a frequent traveler and a former university student in a surf town, I'm partial to my Hydroflasks. And as I travel home after visiting my parents, they're incredibly helpful for staying hydrated on flights — I just get through TSA with an empty one and fill it up after security!