We introduce a new approach to traffic locality then use it to develop a new route discovery algorithm. The algorithm, we named Traffic Locality-Expanding Ring Search (TL-ERS), improves the route discovery process for MANETs that exhibit traffic locality by establishing a neighbourhood that includes the most likely destinations for a particular source, then broadcasting route requests using this neighbourhood as a first locale or ring, in which to search for the target. If route discovery in this ring proves unsuccessful, then the algorithm establishes a second ring, double the size of the first, if route discovery here also fails the algorithm finally resorts to flooding. TL-ERS is adaptive and continuously updates the boundary of the source node’s neighbourhood to optimize performance. Furthermore, we provide a detailed performance evaluation using simulation to demonstrate its advantages over both the AODV and the Expanding Ring Search (ERS).