“I do feel more constrained in where I think it’s safe to go,” says Jennifer Cooke, director of the Africa program for the Center for Strategic and International Studies. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Youssouf Ouedraogo is a seasoned traveler, but suddenly he’s not such a casual one.

Before a recent string of terrorist attacks, mass shootings and downed airliners, Ouedraogo would have picked a hotel for his upcoming visit to Cameroon based on what the expense account would bear and his seat-of-the-pants sense of which was safest.

Now, after two days of travel training provided by his nonprofit employer, the Washington-based public-health expert said he chose from a list of hotels preapproved by security experts. He asked for a room between the second floor (not too easy for ground intruders to access) and the fifth (not too high for local firetruck ladders). He plans to register with the U.S. Embassy. And he added an extra day in the city to vet transportation options before he heads to the countryside.

“In the past, we would just rent a car, jump in and trust the driver,” said Ouedraogo, who spends almost half of his time on the road, mostly in Africa. Violent attacks in so many parts of the world “have raised my awareness that something can happen.”

A litany of horrors has jolted frequent-flying foreign-aid workers, contractors and think tank researchers, including Friday’s attack on a luxury hotel in Burkina Faso that left at least 29 dead, the November terrorist massacre in a Mali hotel popular with expatriates and the November assaults in Paris that killed 130.

Jennifer Cooke shows her passport. She’s a frequent traveler and has been collecting safe-travel tips. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Those attacks, along with the vanishing or blowing up of airliners and Islamic State-related scares from California to Cairo, have spooked many hard-core travelers accustomed to the most uncomfortable and unsavory parts of the world.

Even those who might have thought that their noncombatant status shielded them from most of the violence are increasingly eager to prepare for the worst.

“A lot of the NGOs thought, ‘Hey, we’re protected by being do-gooders,’ ” said Bruce McIndoe, chief executive of iJet, an Annapolis, Md.-based travel-risk-management firm that employs 200 people around the world, plus 900 contractors. “But now, they recognize that they are targets just by being Westerners. This could happen anywhere.”

Although few Americans are killed in terrorist attacks abroad, trepidation is fueling the growing market for travel assistance and travel insurance, which is expected to reach $18 billion by the end of this year, according to industry analysts.

In recent months, McIndoe has heard from more than 200 organizations, agencies and companies looking to improve their travel safety. Some bookers have begun to avoid U.S. hotel chains. The World Bank, which dispatches staff members on more than 100,000 trips a year, has seen a spike in demand for travel-security training.

“Enrollments have gone up dramatically in the last month and a half,” Jeff Culver, the bank’s head of security, said of the two-day course in situational awareness available to employees. At a facility in Northern Virginia, staff members role-play restaurant attacks, carjackings and other worst-case scenarios.

Managers say their traveling employees, even those who have logged millions of long-haul miles over the years to the dustiest nooks of the world, are asking for greater travel prep. Even small nonprofit organizations are being asked to provide more training, more intelligence and more sophisticated ways of keeping in touch from a dozen time zones away.

“If you’re walking around with just a 1-800 number to call if you get into trouble, forget about it,” McIndoe said. “That’s not going to work even without a crisis.”

IJet, which is tracking between 300,000 and 500,000 travelers at any given time, provides its clients with smartphone apps that act as traveler panic buttons: Press one button to reach a hotline help center. The green button means “I’m okay,” and the red sends an “I’m in trouble” alert along with GPS coordinates.

The World Bank had three staff members in the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako during the Mali attacks. And 11 were in Dubai at the time of a massive New Year’s Eve high-rise fire. Using a similar communications system, security techs checked in with all of them.

“You can hear in their voice that they are very grateful to hear from an intermediary that is on their side,” said Vikki Hollingsworth, manager of the bank’s security operations center.

The International Center for Research on Women, which has 50 employees in its D.C. headquarters, doesn’t deploy as many travelers as the World Bank, the federal government or ExxonMobil, but its staff members go to the same dicey places. Previously, the group’s travel preparations involved checking the State Department’s travel advisories and relying on its in-country contacts. Now, it has hired a security consultant for training, country profiles and hotel recommendations.

“Before, we were basically going on common sense and gut,” said Patricia Daunas, the center’s chief operating officer. “Now, the mood is totally different. People are nervous, and rightly so. We just sent someone to Lebanon, which had me worried sick.”

No one has asked to cancel a trip, Daunas said. But some worry that the heightened sense of alarm will keep development professionals pinned in the bubble of hotel metal detectors and high-end restaurants.

“I do feel more constrained in where I think it’s safe to go,” said Jennifer Cooke, director of the Africa program for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, just hours before she took off for Nigeria, Chad and Niger. “I’ve always considered these capital cities basically safe. Now, you do think more about where you can go and where you’re going to stay.”

Cooke, like many global road warriors, has been collecting safe-travel tips, such as avoiding the biggest luxury hotels and picking a room as far from the driveway — and potential car bombs — as possible.

One think-tank security consultant who frequents conflict zones said he has been peppered with questions from friends looking for expert advice. He spoke on the condition of anonymity to avoid becoming a target in the hot spots he frequents.

“I am even more aware of my surroundings than ever before,” the man said. “I’m always on the lookout for people eyeballing me as an economic opportunity, either as a hostage they can sell or just a robbery victim.”

His standard travel practices include:

●Staying at local hotels when possible. “The Western hotels have the best security but the highest profile; the local guys have adequate security and a lower profile.”

●Packing a standard door wedge to seal his room and enough strong line to reach the ground from the third floor. “The first thing I do in a new room is look for a radiator or other anchor point.”

●Locating the hallway fire extinguishers. “It’s a good weapon. You can hit them with it or spray them with it.”