This level range opens a variety of zones from the Cataclysm expansion, which are spread across the game’s original continents, but it’s more efficient to head to the continent of Pandaria. You can spend the entirety of this level range exploring its uniquely themed zones and quests. The Jade Forest, Valley of the Four Winds, and Kun-Lai Summit are our picks, but all the zones are worth checking out.
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.
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.
Cooking benefits all classes, especially melee and hunters (it is a free source of food). Until higher levels, the benefits it provides are almost exclusively stamina buffs. While more stamina is always nice, cooking is not essential to leveling. Considering the time investment required, if you pick up skinning then cooking would absolutely be a wise skill to level prior to hitting your level cap, as beasts often drop meat useful for skilling up.
Most of the time you spend leveling will involve questing and slaying monsters, but there’s also a lot of travel. Travel earns you little experience (you do gain a bit for discovering new areas), so it’s wise to keep travel to a minimum. The new level scaling system, which scales zones to your level within a preset range, helps with that. You can choose what zones you want to experience and stick with them until you finish their quests.
Though related, this is no longer true. You can now purchase a lvl 90 character boost. Some power levelers have hoped for a day when you could use real money to buy individual items in-game, some times called "micro-transactions." At a Game Developers Conference 2008, Rob Pardo gave a strong indication, Blizzard would not ever go this route with World of Warcraft.
We have no idea what implications this might have and whether or not it even indicates anything, since Patch 8.2 is still in testing and a Tuesday launch is more than unlikely due to Essence tuning and Azshara's Eternal Palace, which is supposedly coming shortly after launch. Blizzard said they wouldn't be delaying the new raid like they did with Battle of Dazar'alor.