Travel for the masses is one of the benefits of living in the 21st century. While it has a few drawbacks, travel brings so many benefits that they easily outweigh the negatives.
For some, travel means just having a good time but there are so many other things to be gained beyond rest and recreation. And of course, it's not an either/or situation: one can easily combine all of the advantages of travel into one trip.
Travelers gain knowledge and understanding of foreign countries or other parts of their own country. Residents of the United States are fortunate in that their country offers a huge wealth of interesting and enjoyable places to visit. One could experience a whole lifetime of vacations in the U.S., without ever having to leave the country.
For me, one of the most valuable aspects of foreign travel is the perspective it offers on my own country's people and customs. I will never forget what it was like when I first came to live in the U.S. While I was every day learning something new about my adopted country, I was at the same time acquiring a new perspective on the one I had left behind. I learned more then about what it means to be a European than at any other time of my life.
Another benefit of travel is the acquiring of new friends. In recent years, I have gone on several group tours to other parts of the world, and gained new friends on every trip.
Not least among the benefits is the promotion of international friendship & understanding. While governments may disagree and do battle with each other, travel reminds us that the people of all countries share a common humanity. We are all basically the same, deep down, with the same feelings, emotions, and interests.
In the age of COVID-19, vacation and other non-urgent travel are not possible. But at some point in time, the pandemic will be over and many people will again travel for recreation, and again enjoy the benefits of travel.