While I won't debate the educational value of these trips, I will point out the following:
It's tough to calculate the travel bills racked up by members of Congress, but one thing's for sure: They use a lot of airplanes. In recent days, House of Representatives members allocated $550 million to upgrade the fleet of luxury Air Force jets used for trips like these -- even though the Defense Department says it doesn't need all the planes. - WSJ
Sure maybe it's stimulus money, or maybe the seats are comfortable. Why not invest in something that builds future capabilities of the country.