(Usually recited when traveling at least a distance of 2.8 miles out of your own town)
Note: Please refer to the additions on the bottom for precise details concerning what travels would require the recitation of this prayer)
May it be Your will, G‑d, our G‑d and the G‑d of our fathers, that You lead us in peace and direct our steps in peace, and guide us in peace, and support us in peace, and cause us to reach our destination in life, joy, and peace (If one intends to return immediately, one adds: and return us in peace).
Save us from every enemy and ambush, from robbers and wild beasts on the trip, and from all kinds of punishments that rage and come to the world. May You confer blessing upon the work of our hands and grant me grace, kindness, and mercy in Your eyes and in the eyes of all who see us, and bestow upon us abundant kindness and hearken to the voice of our prayer, for You hear the prayers of all.
Blessed are You G‑d, who hearkens to prayer.
(Then recite the following verses 3 times)
And Yaakov went on his way and angels of G-d met him. And Yaakov said when he saw them, "This is the camp of G-d," and he named the place Machanayim.
A person is required to recite the Traveler’s Prayer whenever he takes a “long-distance” journey. The kind of travel is not important, whether by foot, animal, wagon, ship, automobile, railroad or even airplane. Even traveling on highways or by rail also involves a certain degree of danger according to the Mishnah Berurah.
The Shulchan Aruch states that a journey involving the obligation to recite this prayer with a concluding blessing must be to a destination at least one parsah 2.8 miles, beyond the city limits. Uninhabited areas, such as gardens and orchards, which are on the outskirts of the city and beyond houses are considered part of the required measurement.
If one is traveling less than 2.8 miles outside the city limits [though there is no requirement], he may still recite the prayer but without the concluding blessing. The Tehilat Le’David rules that one may also conclude with the blessing but omit G‑d’s name.
If the area in which one is traveling is dangerous, then the prayer should be recited even for a journey less than 2.8 miles. Some Rabbinic authorities such as in the work of the “Kitzur Shulchan Aruch” translate a distance based on the time that it would actually take to walk a parsah, which is 72 minutes. Thus, any journey that takes less than 72 minutes would not require this prayer. However, if one wants to recite it without the concluding blessing he may do so.
The Mishnah Berurah states that when one is traveling more than a parsah (2.8 miles), but there are inhabited areas along the way, on either side, within a parsah, as is common on many of today’s highways, it is questionable whether the prayer should be said or not. Therefore, it is better that it be recited without the concluding blessing. It would seem therefore according to this, that if the highway cuts through the city, even if the highway is long, the prayer is nor recited at all since technically, the traveler really never left the city.
Once one has left the city, even though there are houses constantly along the way, he should still recite the prayer immediately and not wait until the houses cease. Nowadays, the main danger is accidents, especially due to speeding. Therefore, the prayer should be said once he is on the highway outside the city limits.
If one is traveling between two cities and the distance is less than 2 parsah combined (5.6 miles), then the prayer is not said .
Even though there is a principle that those who are on a mission for to engage in a good deed are protected from harm, they must still recite this prayer .