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.
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.
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.
Our old friend Quest Helper isn’t updated for the client, but there’s !Questie and MonkeyQuest to help you track available quests and their objectives. The biggest challenge to leveling up in the beta is searching for where the quest objectives are, so if you’re looking to hit the level 30 cap fast — or just the level 5 cap in today’s stress test — you’ll need one of these.