Before you begin, you must decide on whether or not to enable War Mode. War Mode makes it so that you will only see other players with War Mode enabled, which also enables PvP activity. Note that if you are in a party with someone not on War Mode while you are, you will be unable to see him or her. War Mode provides an experience buff as well as the enabling of three PvP talents that will greatly increase your power. Regardless of whether or not you enable War Mode, your objectives will remain the same in that you must complete all quest content to unlock flying later on and many of your War Campaign and Allied Race requirements. War Mode enables 10% bonus experience, 10% better rewards from World Quests, and allows for the gathering of Conquest points which can be used to buy gear. If you do play on War Mode, it is recommended to play with friends. Leveling without War Mode will not be significantly more time consuming.
As the first major content release of Battle for Azeroth, patch 8.1: Tides of Vengeance is adding a number of new ways to gear up, as well as increasing the item level of rewards from existing activities. Tides of Vengeance goes live on December 11th and will add most of the new content, but Mythic+ and PvP Season 2 will not start until the new raid, Battle of Dazar'alor, releases in January, at which time the item level thresholds will increase to the new Titanforge cap of 425.
Usually it's best to avoid a lot of instance runs. It is too difficult to account for bad groups, and some instances are too far away with too few quests. Since the experience is very good, it's a good idea to clear nearby instances which have a lot of quests once (Gnomeregan, Deadmines for Alliance). Distant instances with few quests should be avoided (Deadmines for Horde). Low level instances can be cleared by paying or befriending a single high level character. However, since patch 3.3 a new Dungeon group finding system has been implemented, as well as a direct port to dungeons (when entering the group you get ported to the dungeon and back to the same location if you leave it) and thus the travel time to dungeons has been greatly reduced. This makes it a good idea to complete quests or grind while you wait for a group to become available.
Obtain your heirloom rings. Ghost Pirate Rings can be obtained via Shipyard missions. You can equip one ring from this category. A Dread Pirate Ring can be obtained via placing at least second in the weekly Stranglethorn Fishing Extravaganza, which on many realms is a very competitive event. Note that to obtain the Ghost Pirate Rings, you will need a max level character with a garrison of at least level 3. You you will also have to develop your Shipyard to the appropriate level to receive the mission. Your other heirloom gear will still give you a big boost if you choose not to go for these.