Overheating is a leading cause of mechanical breakdowns, and is notorious for interrupting vacation travel.
The most common causes of overheating are loss of coolant due to a leak or a sticking thermostat, which prevents coolant from circulating through the engine. It is recommended to have an annual inspection of cooling system components, including a pressure test to look for leaks.
If your car has aluminum cylinder heads, they are more vulnerable to warping damage from overheating than the traditional cast iron type. This can happen so fast you may not have been aware your car was in trouble.