Just as important to the engine itself are the components around it that help it run. Check the hoses that are connected to the radiator. They help pump coolant to and from the engine. Look for cracks, leaks and loose connections, paying special attention to where hoses are clamped. Make sure the engine is cool when you touch the hoses. They should be firm and not soft.
Belts that help cool the system should also be checked for cracks and damage. A visual inspection is good enough, but for the more mechanically inclined, you could also remove the belt to make sure the material inside isn't separating into layers. Cracked hoses or a belt snapping will result in your engine overheating, leaving you stuck on the side of the road.
Another way to help cool your engine and protect it is to use a radiator coolant additive like Purple Ice from premium synthetic lubricant manufacturer Royal Purple. A high performance radiator conditioner, Purple Ice can help reduce engine temperatures, protect against corrosion and provide improved vehicle performance. For use in both gasoline and diesel engines, Purple Ice can be mixed with antifreeze or straight water, and is compatible with factory fill and major brand antifreeze.
Taking the time to maintain your engine and its components will get your further down the road and on your way to a great summer vacation.