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Flooding-based approaches are incorporated in reactive routing protocols as the fundamental strategy for route discovery. They overtly affect traffic as the frequency of route discovery increases along with the mobility of users in a mobile ad hoc network (MANET). This paper presents a scheme for reducing overall traffic and end-to-end delay in highly MANET networks. Firstly a new routing algorithm is proposed to reduce the frequency of flood requests by elongating the link duration of the selected paths. In order to increase the path duration, non-disjoint paths are also considered. This concept is a novel approach in route discovery as previous reactive routing protocols seek only disjoint paths. Secondly another novel approach is presented to estimate the link expiration time without the need for global positioning system (GPS) devices. To prevent broadcast storms that may be intrigued during the path discovery operation, another scheme is also introduced. The basic concept behind the proposed scheme is to broadcast only specific and well-defined packets, referred to as "best packets" in the paper. The new protocol is simulated with regard to traffic overhead. Although our main aim in this paper is to reduce the net control traffic in a MANET network, there are other benefits arising from the proposed schemes, namely the increase in link duration, reduction in the end-to-end communication delay, less disruption in data flow, and fewer path setups.