STAYING at a posh hotel is something most people only do a couple of times in a lifetime.

But if you have nerves of steel, there is a way to bag a top room in a property for a fraction of the usual price.

It's a myth that the best deals on hotels can be had if you book way in advance - the trick is actually to wait right until the last minute.

But the tactic takes some serious guts, because while it results in some big bargains, travellers could also be left without a roof over their heads.

Guests often cancel hotel rooms at the last minute. In fact, well-off customers are more likely than others to scrap a trip with just a week to spare as they haven't spent all year saving for it.

That often leaves management scrambling to find someone else to fill the empty room. As a result, they will often drop rates considerably with just hours to spare.

Those willing to do the legwork can contact the hotel themselves to get a good deal, asking whether there are any rooms being offered at a discount.

But there are also apps that do this job for you, like Hotel Tonight, which searches the web for last minute deals at a range of basic, hip and luxe properties.

At the time of writing, The Sun found a discount of up to 60 per cent off hotel rooms.

For instance, a room at London's The Ned, a trendy five-star hotel, was up for grabs at $428 - down from $718.

A night at H0 Waterloo, a four-star hotel in London, was also up for grabs at $30, down from $345.

Discounts were even bigger in New York this week, with a night at the super-hip luxury boutique hotel The James priced at $358, down from $845.

Alternatively, a stay in Paris at the four-star Hipark Design Suites costs just $139, down from $287.

Booking sites like Hopper, Kayak and Expedia also offer these last-minute booking options online, and they also provide price alerts tailored to a particular site search.

They do the same for flights - sending out an email to you as soon as a plane fare or hotel room drops in price.

This article originally appeared in The Sun and was reproduced with permission.

Ballina's Riding for the Disabled turns 40

Ballina's Riding for the Disabled turns 40

The organisation has helped hundreds of people over the years

Skate parks closed for much-needed maintenance

Skate parks closed for much-needed maintenance

The work will be finished in time for popular skateboarding comp

Night works begin on The Coast Rd

Night works begin on The Coast Rd

Two new roundabouts and an underpass are being built